‘Welcome Home’

Words by Kristyn

I joined some of my best NYC buds on a Friday night in New York City to watch some of my favorite bands play for the last time on the iconic Sidewalk stage. I saw Emily Einhorn outside and was overcome with emotion—when I visited New York for the first time, I stayed with her and Rebecca Satellite in their flat in Crown Heights; I said hi to my bud Luke Kelly, THE Luke Kelly of Kung Fu Crimewave–who was the first band I ever interviewed in New York–at Sidewalk Cafe.

Sidewalk Cafe is home to some of the best musicians that New York City has ever come across—some of the best songwriters, and poets, and writers, and people. It’s where I met one of my best friends, Dina Levy, and Daniel Saftler; it’s where I feel most at home.

I remember being 25 and getting drunk at my job at Sony, over on Lafayette, and heading over to Sidewalk Cafe to spend the rest of my drunken evening. It wasn’t just a refuge for the drunk, the tired, the poor, it was a haven for artists, who were (and are) in a constant state of self-discovery, exploration, and affirmation.

The first New York band that I came across was Caged Animals, whilst listening to the CMJ 2012 playlist on NPR. ‘Teflon Heart’ easily became my New York theme song: I listened to it on the way to Brooklyn Bowl for the first time to cover Icona Pop’s CMJ showcase, I listened to it on the way back to Crown Heights to the shared bed with Rebecca Satellite.

I sat at Sidewalk last night–its penultimate night–watching Caged Animals play, but this time things were different. I wasn’t the scared, weird girl from St. Louis who loved covering concerts and interviewing bands, and who had no clue as to what she wanted to do with her life. I sat there as the owner and Publisher of an international music magazine, and it must be said that Left Bank wouldn’t have ever become what it did— I wouldn’t have become who I am— without Sidewalk Cafe. I would like to open up the site for posts from the Sidewalk community on this epic institution of music, culture, friendship, and life. And to all of those beautiful beings that I have met through this place, thank you for introducing me to the Antifolk community and to the magic that Sidewalk has cultivated. This place will be missed. Don’t get rid of the Antifolk burger in your next iteration.

Kung Fu Crimewave — don’t kill me for posting this old photo!

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